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HEAL Newsflash - February 2016

Eight year olds found out why “organic uncle” may not be so crazy A teaching module to introduce primary school children to the close ties between their health and the environment was launched in Malta by HEAL member Action for Breast Cancer Foundation. Teachers learnt about how to use the Maltese translation of a HEAL comic strip in their work from HEAL’s Lisette van Vliet. Read more…

World Cancer Day: European cancer groups urged to take action against glyphosate HEAL invited Europe’s most influential cancer societies to urge governments to immediately ban glyphosate, a chemical used as a herbicide, and classified as a ‘probable carcinogen’ by the WHO. In a letter sent by HEAL’s President, leading national cancer groups were reminded that a ban on glyphosate represents a significant opportunity in cancer prevention. Read more…

Paris International Environmental Film Festival 2016
This year’s International Festival of Environmental Films (FIFE) takes place from 5 – 12 April in Paris. As in previous years, HEAL is a partner of the event. Read more…

Commission plans to present EDC criteria before the Summer 2016
Health groups reacted cautiously to the statement by European Health Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis to the European Parliament that he will bring out the criteria to identify endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) before the summer 2016. Read more…

Food Contact Materials and Chemical Contamination
HEAL’s new publication looks at health concerns related to chemicals in food contact materials in Europe. It addresses the current EU law for these materials and defines what is missing in the existing system that should be changed if public health is to be protected. It also outlines the policy opportunities and recommendations. Read more…

Dutch TV consumer program highlights work of HEAL, WEMOS and WECF
On 8 February, the Dutch consumer program Radar focused on endocrine disruptors (EDCs). HEAL’s Lisette van Vliet, together with HEAL members WEMOS (Annelies den Boer), WECF (Elisabeth Ruffinengo) and other partners were interviewed for this special edition. Read more…

Chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) classified as toxic
At the beginning of February, the EU Commission and EU Member States agreed to classify bisphenol A (BPA) as a presumed human reproductive toxicant (category 1B). Read more…

Save the date! Pesticide Action Week 2016
The 11th edition of Pesticide Action week to which HEAL is a partner, takes place from 20 – 30 March with a specific focus on health and pesticide free towns. Biodiversity, natural gardening, organic food, and agricultural techniques will be highlighted but the main focus will be on the impacts of pesticides on health and promoting alternatives. Read more…

HEAL in Turkey: Toolkit for a “healthy energy” future
February saw the launch of a toolkit on coal power generation and health to support local health professionals and community groups in Turkey to prevent new coal plants being built. The toolkit, available in English and Turkish focuses on the south-eastern part of the country, Iskenderun Bay, where pollution from 16 plants in the pipeline would increase the already existing health burden. Read more…

Germany: Conference on soot and other climate-related pollutants
: Julia Huscher, HEAL’s Senior Coal and Health Officer, was a speaker at the final conference of the Soot Free for the Climate project in Berlin, presenting on the health effects of so-called short lived climate pollutants. Reducing these air pollutants would bring benefits for both public health and the climate. Read more…

Germany consults on climate ambition and measures for 2050
After launching a plan of climate mitigation measures in 2014 tailored to reach a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, the German government is currently preparing a long-term plan for climate action until 2050. Read more…

Joint open letter on the opening of the trilogue negotiations on the National Emissions Ceilings Directive
More than 70 public health, environmental and civil society groups call on negotiators to aim high to cut emissions of harmful air pollutants across Europe, ahead of this week’s start of the trilogue on the National Emissions Ceilings Directive, a key piece of air quality law. Read more…

HEAL in Poland: Meeting with EU Environment Commissioner Vella
In 2009 the Supreme Chamber in Poland found that in half of diagnostic stations, results of vehicle inspections were false. Last year, HEAL in Poland was of several NGOs to request the re-examination of vehicle inspection stations. Read more…

Members’ news

- Breast Cancer UK – Job opportunity Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer

- Generations Future and Phyto Victims – French TV documentary “Chemicals: our children in danger”

- ELF – Air pollution exposure during pregnancy linked with asthma risk

- Generations Cobayes - Launches Eco-Orgasm Box for Valentines’ Day

- WECF - Survey on over 340 baby cosmetics


- HEAL Briefing on Food Packaging

- Turkish toolkit on coal power generation and health - English and Turkish

- Maltese comic strip

Events 2016


- 22 – 26: TTIP negotiations round


- 4, Brussels, Belgium: EU Environment Council

- 7 - 10, Strasbourg, France: EP Plenary

- 17 - 18, Brussels, Belgium: EU Summit

- 20 - 30: Pesticide Action Week


- 5 – 12, Paris, France: International Environmental Film Festival

Take Action

- WeMove.EU - Petition to EU to ban glyphosate

- Climate change calls to action

- Consultation on the evaluation of the environmental noise directive

HEAL in the media

- Polska dusi się od smogu, Polskieradio
Poland, 11 February 2016

- Chemicals, EDCs and glyphosate, TV Malta (TVM)
Malta, 12 February 2016

- European NGOs call for ban on glyphosate, Times of Malta
Malta, 12 February 2016

- Power plants in Iskenderun Bay threatens health, CNN Turkey
Turkey, 13 February 2016

- NGO calls for paper packaging regulation, ENDS Europe
Brussels, 18 February 2016

- -* Greens welcome more robust regulations for fracking applications, On the Wight
Brussels, 21 January 2016

HEAL tweets
- Protect citizens’ health, not Europe’s car industry. Reject #RDE implementing measure #dieselgate #cleanair
- 75,0000 deaths from NO2 are inacceptable! Don’t allow greater NOx #emissions in #RDE vote
- #Health groups dismayed at EP majority for greater diesel car pollution #cleanair #Dieselgate…
- 1 in 8 women in Europe will develop #breastcancer during her lifetime #WorldCancerDay

Last updated on 24 February 2016

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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